Priorities tend to change over time.

We may want to make the varsity team. Then we want to crack the starting lineup. Hit a home run. Score a touchdown.

We want to get a good education, start a rewarding career and buy a brand new vehicle.

Priorities differ from one person to another. They may also evolve more rapidly for some people than others.

For four years, this career was my top priority. I wouldn’t bat an eye at a 15-plus-hour workday of covering a wrestling tournament in the morning and then a basketball game — whether in Jay County or on the road somewhere else — later that night.

I jumped at the opportunity to spend a night in Indianapolis on the eve of the Indy 500 after covering a baseball game that same day. After a late night, I’d wake up early the following day to spend hours in the blistering heat covering The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

I wouldn’t think twice about an opportunity to go to Frankfort, Kentucky, as the Jay County High School boys basketball team played in the Kentucky-Indiana Challenge Cup.

Driving from Portland to Bloomington on a Friday night, then Bloomington to Columbus, Ohio, the next morning only to go back to Bloomington the same day?

Bring it on.

There was a time when all those scenarios, including working 50- or 60-hour weeks, were my top priority. I loved every second of it. I also had nothing else to do.

But once Chrissy and I started dating, my priorities changed. Quickly. 

She, and the family we talked of starting one day, slowly started to creep up the totem pole. And as we started to plan our life together, ultimately the thought of having children followed.

Outside my immediate family of my parents and two brothers, I grew up with my maternal grandparents, great-aunt and great-uncle as well as a cousin a few years older than me nearby. I had another aunt two hours away. The rest of my family either lived in California or somewhere along the eastern United States.

They’ve spread out across the country even more as we’ve gotten older.

One thing I always wanted for my future children — no, Chrissy and I are not expecting — was to have family nearby. I have a 10-year-old niece and a nearly 7-year-old nephew and I feel I’ve missed out on too much of their lives being four hours away and only seeing them quarterly.

Therefore, my top priority in recent years has switched to the family I currently have and the one I hope to have soon.

Unfortunately, remaining sports editor at The Commercial Review, where I spent almost nine years of my life, does not fit those plans.

The time has come for me to move on — again. Only now, there won’t be any chance of coming back.

My wife — I met her here, fell in love with her here and married her here — accepted a position in Michigan. We will be moving north next month to start our new chapter together.

Since our decision Friday, I’ve been alerting others slowly. I’ve told some in person and texted others. For most, this column might be the first they’re hearing of it.

And it hasn’t gotten any easier no matter how many times I break the news. 

For the better part of two decades I’ve wanted to do exactly what I’ve done for the last nine years — watch, write about and photograph sports. 

While I don’t know what’s to come in terms of my career, I’m glad to be a free agent. I’ve got some time to ponder my next move, explore any new interests and perhaps find a different path.

One thing is for certain, though, my time here will not be forgotten. It’s been an absolute pleasure to play a part in your lives, and truth be told, you’ll always be part of mine.

You’ve been a priority of mine for close to nine years.

Life’s priorities, however, don’t last forever.

The impact you’ve had on my life, though, will.

We are JC! Roll Tribe! Go Stars!

Take care, my friends.